Salt is well known as a food preservative and flavouring agent. It has been used to preserve food for many years and is the main seasoning ingredient. It gives the food flavour, essential nutrients, texture, and enhances the colour. But it also plays other, lesser-known roles such as in cosmetics. The richness of minerals it contains proven can cleanse and soften skin and hair. Also, benefited in modern medicine to regulate blood pressure, balance body fluids in the blood, and secretion of gastric acid.
Salt contains two main minerals, sodium and chloride. Which are essential for human health. Sodium is essential for nerve and muscle function and is involved in the regulation of fluids in the body, also Sodium plays a role in the body’s control of blood pressure and volume. Chloride ions serve as important electrolytes by regulating blood pH and pressure. Electrolytes are compounds which dissociate into their ionic components in solvents like water. Chloride is also a crucial component in the production of stomach acid. Humans excrete salt when sweating and must replenish these lost sodium and chloride ions through their diet.
Sea salt produces through evaporation of ocean water. Depending on the water source, the trace minerals and elements vary. The minerals add flavour and colour to sea salt, which also comes in a variety of coarseness levels. Thus, there are differences between all types of salt for instance, sea salt, Himalayan, Kosher, and table salt. Most choose their salt based on taste, texture, colour, convenience and mineral content.
The sea is the main source of the world's salt. Depending on these components, as well as how it's produced, sea salts can take the form of flakes, fine crystals, or coarse crystals, and exhibit a range of colours from local minerals and even algae. Traditional sea salt which is harvested in black sands beach contains much more iron than white sand beaches. The farmers take seawater with two wooden buckets on a bamboo pole and pour it into the smoothed black sand in a rhythmic motion. After a few hours in the sun, the sand will turn into flakes from which the salt is to be harvested. Then, the top layer of sand will be collected and washed with seawater in a wooden drum to increase the salinity. After that it will be poured on ‘palungan’- traditional coconut tree table for further evaporation. The resulting grains of salt will be sieve and separated by size.
Indonesia has a great potential to grow in sea salt production as it is rich in nature. Indonesia has so many volcanic mountains that result in black sand. Black sand is sand that is black in color. It can be found on beaches near a volcano. Because when lava comes in contact with water, it cools rapidly and shatters into sand and fragmented debris of various sizes which most is small enough to be considered sand.
This is one of the reasons why Indonesia is perfect for harvesting sea salt. Even there are some well known villages that have been producing sea salt for a long time. As its benefited from Indonesia's unique geographical location between Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean, also traditional practices in using primitive tools passed from generation to generation.